LinkedIn Corp., the largest networking site for online professionals, has hired banks to advise on an initial public offering this year, according to two people familiar with the IPO plans.
Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. of New York, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp., and LinkedIn are aiming to complete an IPO prospectus by the end of the first quarter, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
An IPO would follow a $500 million investment in Facebook Inc., owner of the most popular social network, by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies. Their stake valued Palo Alto, California-based Facebook at $50 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Krista Canfield, a spokeswoman for Mountain View, California-based LinkedIn, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment outside normal business hours. The IPO plans were earlier reported by Reuters.
LinkedIn, founded by former PayPal Inc. executive Reid Hoffman in 2003, allows users to create and maintain profiles for free and charges for premium service. In 2005, the company introduced a subscription product to help recruiters find job candidates and communicate with them directly.
Venture Capital IPOs
Venture capital-backed companies have registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $2.86 billion in IPOs, 79 percent less than private equity-owned companies, data compiled by Bloomberg show. While companies such as Facebook have increased in value by 50 percent or more in private trading on speculation they will go public, they have also shown they can raise capital without seeking an IPO.
Groupon Inc., the daily-deal coupon site based in Chicago, raised $500 million in its latest round of financing, according to a filing with the SEC last week. The sale is more than half the $950 million that the company filed to raise on Dec. 17.
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